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Reply #50: Should be Sammy Grayback? [View All]

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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-28-11 11:04 AM
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50. Should be Sammy Grayback?

Soldiers in the Civil War gave the body louse numerous names: bluebellies, rebels, tigers, Bragg's body-guard, zouaves, graybacks, and vermin. They were so common that it would have been unusual for a soldier not to harbor vermin. Lice had no allegiance to any flag, nor did they discriminate on the basis of rank. It was recorded that an orderly of a company officer picked 52 graybacks from the shirt of his chief at one sitting (Billings 1887). Although soldiers felt disgraced when they first became infested, this feeling soon diminished as their situation became universal among their comrades. Many soldiers came to "a state of pleasant unconcern," one even declaring he could not sleep soundly unless he "had a few graybacks gnawing on him" (Wiley 1994).

Blood sucking parasite = Ratpublican!
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